Like many other blogs and web sites on the internet, I wrote about the sudden closing of Miles of Music with a tone of sadness. As I said at the time, I always felt better about myself after buying cds from M.O.M. and had even grown to view their notoriously slow shipping as an endearing trait. As many posts on ninebullets tend to do, my eulogy to M.O.M. slid off the front page with little more than a few other people chiming in to express their sadness about the closing. Then a week or so after the initial posting a funny thing started to happen. Bands started commenting on the post and, like me, they weren’t too happy about M.O.M.’s closing but, unlike me, they weren’t exactly mourning it. Then as a week turned into a couple of weeks, and then into a month, the comments and emails went from a slight trickle to an unignorable stream. It finally became apparent to me that M.O.M.’s business practices as of late may not have all been above board and that there was definitely an underside to this story that nobody was telling. With that in mind I took it upon myself to start talking to these artists with the intent of telling their story. As the stories started to file in I started feeling worse and worse about having ever spent any money at Miles of Music and started to feel as angry as these bands I was talking to. Wanting answers, I did some basic internet sleuthing to uncover Jeff’s (Mile of Music’s founder) email address and reached out to him. To Jeff’s defense, he was quick to respond and very up front about what happened with Miles of Music from its inception all the way up to its sudden closing. As we continued to exchange emails my anger gave way to understanding.

Did Jeff make some mistakes? Yes. Are the bands catching it in the ass? Yes. Was this Jeff’s intent? No. Is he laughing all the way to the bank? Pretty much the exact opposite.

I am writing what follows in an effort to help the bands and artists who were doing business with M.O.M. get some answers and maybe find some closure in whole deal. Miles of Music’s reputation is gonna be soured forever, and it’s probably rightfully so, but it’s not for lack of effort or good intentions.


When Miles closed I didn’t even think about the fact that it had boxes and boxes of cds in inventory that bands had mailed to them, nor did it occur to me that right up until the week the site was shuttered it was taking orders (and, as a result, payments), so there was a lot of money owed artists and labels. What was happening with all of this? I think Evan from The Whipsaws and E.S.P. summed it up pretty well:

“miles of music owes us over $3000.  over the last year they told us they were either sending us checks (that we never received), or that they would be sending us checks soon. Meanwhile, they continued to sell our records, and lots of them.

For me, the kicker is that 2 weeks before miles of music folded, they sold 50+ Easton Stagger phillips records.  I believe that they never intended to pay us for these…”

This was a running theme in emails I was receiving and I started wondering if M.O.M. had settled up with the labels he dealt with prior to closing and was just leaving the solo artists out to dry, so I email Virgil from Suburban Home. Turns out it was a universal abandonment. Nobody, be it artist or label, had gotten paid, nor had they received any indication that the site was closing. In all actuality, in the weeks leading up to the closure it all looked like it was business as usual as the folks over at WeeWerk told me in an email:

“Aside from not paying us one red cent for 3 consignment orders – Jeff had the gall to ask me for a bunch of our new releases for consideration…why would someone do that if they were going out of business?”

That’s a fair question and even though I ultimately got an answer, I do feel that Jeff was a little reckless in this point. A lot of these artists are sinking everything they have into getting these cds pressed.  Losing a couple hundred is gonna sting a lot deeper than finding your cd on SoulSeek, so while I understand the events leading up to the closing, I do think Jeff could have been a little more sensitive in the final months of the site to the bleeding edge some of these artists live on.

The funniest thing about the whole deal was how willing the bulk of the artists are to forgive or forget and move on, they just wanted some form of an explanation. One came in the form of a blog entry from Jeff, but it was quickly deleted (lucky for us Google cached it). This silence was the real source of most of my respondents’ anger. I think Steve Robinson‘s comments summed up the general consensus from the artists stuck in the M.O.M. limbo:

“What gets me about the whole charade is the silence. If I’d have gotten an apology with a simple “we’re busted and can’t pay anyone” I’d be happier. At least then I could’ve put it behind me.”

It was this sentence that prompted me to try and track Jeff down. What follows is an overview of a series of emails we exchanged about the situation.


Why Jeff chose to respond to me instead of any of the (I’ll assume) mountain of emails he was/is getting from confused and angry artists is beyond me. I’d like to think that the power of prompted him to tell his version of the story to me rather than letting me paint him and M.O.M. from the point of view of the jilted artists.  Regardless of why he decided to reply to me, the point is that he did.

When I first reached out to the email address I had tracked down, I just mentioned that I was putting together a story about the M.O.M. closing and its affect on the artists and that I’d like to get his side of the story. About an hour later I got the following in a reply:

“I’ll be glad to tell you my side of the story but, it is little more than a case of a company that lived on thin margins, gave a it everything we had and then failed from a combo of business choices that didn’t work out, an industry segment that has been collapsing for years and, finally, an economy that has been in slow collapse for some time…

…Everyone will be getting official paperwork from our attorney as we sort through the process. That won’t happen until after the first of the year at the earliest.”

Okay! I’d found him and he was responsive! So I sent him the Steve Robinson quote from above and asked him if the artists would be getting their products back. He replied:

“The objective is to send back as much product directly to the bands as possible until I am told by my attorney to knock it off.
Not only did the business go broke, but we personally went broke and will be losing our home as part of the bankruptcy. I tell you this not for sympathy, but more as an explanation as to why my response and efforts have not been totally focused on returning box-lots of CDs to bands.”

This reply kind of got to me. Up until now I felt like Jeff had fucked the bands and deceived me, the customer, but in one sentence I was reminded that there was another side to this. It had not occurred to me that M.O.M. really was a business and as with businesses in the regular world, when they fail there are real costs that have to be paid by the employees and owners of said business. Your home and fiscal solvency are a lot to loseWeight Exercise for a cd shop, but there were still some questions to be answered so I sent him the following:

“1) Could bands pay to have their product shipped back to them?
2) Why did you remove the post you originally put up on blogspot?

I mean, I know paying to have product returned after you paid to have it sent there is a real bummer, but it’s better than losing it, right? Jeff’s reply came about 10 minutes later:

“Bands could certainly pay the freight to get their stuff back. Typically it is not expensive.
I took down the post because I wanted to rewrite it with a more rounded explanation of what was going on. The draft has info for customers who are looking for other places to make purchases. For whatever reason on that day blogspot was giving me an error message about illegal characters in the URLs in the links to other retailers. Had to put it aside for other matters and haven’t gotten back around to it yet.”

Personally, I think this was a gross oversight by Jeff. The artists were/are owed an explanation, and while everyone will be getting official paperwork from the M.O.M. lawyers at some point in 2009, a brief explanation, regardless of how poorly worded, could have gone a long way towards preserving some of the good will M.O.M. had built up over the years.

The only thing that was still nagging at me after these exchanges was, why continue to ask for product? The writing had to have been on the wall. Was it that M.O.M. lived so close to the edge that they just continually expected to find a way to make it another week? So, I asked Jeff:

“There seems to be a reoccurring theme about you asking for product right up to shuttering the site. I would imagine you could see the writing on the wall. Were you just hoping something would break before you had to?”

What I received as a reply was far more than I had asked and in the interest of fairness I am gonna repost it here in its entirety:

“We lived on the edge for a very long time. We started with no capitalization 14 years ago, managed to grow the business from sales, pouring most of the revenue back into the business. Several times over the life of the business I used personal lines of credit to either finance an expansion (moving out of my first house and into a real warehouse, an office network, a new warehouse when the previous landlord sold the building from under us (we had a one year lease because we didn’t know how the business would do after moving from the inexpensive confines of the house to a “real” location), a new network when we took on fulfillment for several large labels etc. I had no clue how to finance debt.

Then the slow decline of the industry started. Business began to contract. Labels we had engaged to do fulfillment began closing or taking the work in-house. I started laying off employees (or not filling vacancies). Things stabilized for awhile.

In 2006 I decided to close the warehouse and move our fulfillment to a company in Illinois. The theory was that even with their fee structure I would save so much by closing the warehouse, laying off the rest of the staff, save one person, and again running the sales and marketing out of my home we would have a real chance to start catching up on debt.

We shipped everything we had to them at the beginning of 2007. The company in Illinois did a dreadful job chasing away dozens of longtime regulars. Despite having a three year deal with them we terminated the contract after 10 months and got back all of our stock.

My remaining employee and I struggled to get thousands of CDs put away (in my garage) so we could go back to work. More customers left. Christmas was, not surprisingly, underwhelming.

I poured yet more of my personal equity into the company to prop it up in an attempt to level.

We spent a good portion of early 2008 making money and sending out chunks to bands. make money, send it out.

Sales began to to stabilize in 2008. I had a sense of what was left of our customer base and what we could reasonably expect in sales. Then the economy went in the tank. Orders, except from the most hard-core, dried up. Incoming revenue plummeted.

To answer Evan’s comments, up until the economy sucked whatever life was left out of the company we had a reasonable expectation that we could make good on debt. It would be a slow recovery but the goal was there.

When the market crashed, vendors tightened credit, including my home equity line. I no longer had any means to prop up the company.

The closing happened in a very short period. I checked my sources for further investment into the company and they were all tapped. We had no cash. We had to close.

Over the years I had always managed to pull some rabbit out of my hat (or find a line of credit to tap), This time there was nothing.

I am sorry anyone lost money on this.”


I hope this serves as some form of closure for the artists who’ve been stuck in limbo wondering what happened and never got a response to any of the emails sent to Jeff. I still don’t understand why he’d elect not to reply to you, but I do think what he told me is true. I also think he put everything he had into M.O.M. and really did shutter the site when there was just nothing left to do. That said, I think he owes y’all your product. I also think there were plenty of errors made and that the blame falls fully on Jeff’s shoulders. I also think he’d say the same thing.

I guess that in the end I see both sides of this and I feel badly for both. In the end, the closing of M.O.M. and the resulting fallout is one big bag of suck for everyone involved. Other than that I have no other answers, nor do I really think there are any.

Drag The River – Death of the Life of the Party

See y’all on Tuesday.


It’s been a few months since I wrote about the monthly compilations we put together over on the Lucero message board but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been doing them. As always, you can head over to the Lucero message board for some dialog on why each song was submitted and while you’re there you can contribute to next months.

This month’s comp is worth the download just to get the Drive By Truckers cover of Burning For You.

Here is the tracklisting:

  1. The Who – Real Good Looking Boy
  2. John Hiatt – Welfare Music
  3. Tim Barry – This November
  4. The Weight – Get Wild [Bonus]
  5. Coffee Creek – Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man
  6. The Peasall Sisters – Home To You
  7. Hank III – Three Shades Of Black
  8. The Black Keys-Thickfreakness
  9. Lucinda Williams – Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
  10. Magnolia Electric Co. – Dark Don’t Hide It
  11. Scott H. Biram – 18 Wheeler Fever
  12. Bon Iver – Skinny Love
  13. Blind Pilot – Ovideo
  14. Richard Outlaw – I Heard Horses
  15. Billy Bragg – Brickbat
  16. Jenny Lewis (with Elvis Costello) – Acid Tongue
  17. Slobberbone – Find The Out
  18. Drive By Truckers- Burnin for You (live ft. members of The Hold Steady)
  19. Jim Lauderdale and Ralph Stanley – I Will Wait For You
  20. Amanda Palmer – Amerpsand
  21. Queens Of The Stone Age – You Would Know
  22. Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Getting High For Jesus
  23. Jr Juggernaut – Lit By Winter
  24. The Mammals – Lady Margaret
  25. The Star Room Boys – Foolish
  26. Seasick Steve – Prospect Lane

Download complete compilation here.


It’s time to start marking your calendars and saving your change because Deep Blues Festival ’09 is happening and the dates have been set. Here is the info from the Deep Blues Official Site:

The dates will be Wednesday July 15th through Sunday July 19th. The festival will be in Minneapolis MN.  The Wednesday show will be at the 331 Club and the rest of the festival will be at the Cabooze..

After some email exchanges with festival organizer, Chris, I got further clarification on how the days are breaking down:

Weds – KFAI radio in studio appearance by one or two bands and a free show at the 331 Club in Minneapolis that evening.
Thursday – A private indoor party at the Cabooze for all the festival bands and the advance sponsor ticket buyers.  We’ll have six bands perform; three chosen by the festival bands and three by the fans.
Friday and Saturday – Indoor and outdoor multistage fest.
Sunday – Gospel brunch.  I’m thinking this will be a chance for festival bands to mix it up a bit.  This is likely to be free and open to the public.

So there you go. One day shorter than last year and in a bar environment instead of in a field.  All of this is great news, not to mention that’s it’s actually in Minneapolis this year. Nothing but good news. Fuck SxSW, Fuck PitchforkFest, Fuck ACL…this is the festival for the people.

I’ll be there with the wife. Anyone else planning on making the trip?

Here is a song from faves, Left Lane Cruiser. I chose this song cause it’s written about the Deep Blues Festival founder and organizer, Chris Johnson.

Left Lane Cruiser – Mr. Johnson

As a side note: If you add The Deep Blues Festival to your myspace friends list they’re currently sending out bulletins with possible DBF’09 bands and soliciting your opinion.


Per The Drudge Report who was quoting The Times Online:

John Edward Forte, a Grammy Award-winning rapper, is arguably the best known of those pardoned. He was arrested at Newark International Airport in 2000 after being found with a briefcase containing $1.4m of cocaine and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Forte, who has always protested his innocence, co-wrote and produced two songs on The Score, the Fugees’ Grammy-winning 1996 album and several singers, including Carly Simon, had joined a campaign for his pardon, claiming he was not given a fair-trial.

The singer, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, will be released after serving half of a 14 year sentence.

I was a HUGE fan of the album John released right before going into the clink, I, John. Hopefully he’ll get back to making music.

John Forte – What A Difference


I will admit that prior to seeing them live I was not familiar with Ghoultown.  I was kinda familiar with the two opening acts, having seen Zombie Dragstrip Hookers once before and having seen Gen with the Genitorturers a handful of times, but I knew zipola about Ghoultown.

We arrived near the end of ZDH’s set, as due to this being a weeknight show they started pretty darned early, and there weren’t a ton of people there yet.  They didn’t play like they were playing to a couple dozen people, though, with plenty of headbanging and strutting while they banged out Misfits influenced rock.

Next up was Gen-XX and a helluva stage show.  According to their MySpace, they are comprised of Gen on vocals, Angel (Genitorturers, PsyKill, Team Cybergeist) on drums, Scott Weisner (Jackal & Hyde) programming the electronic backdrop to the show, and five Go-Go dancers.  As Gen sang her heart out over driving techno beats and the metronomic Angel utterly abused his drums, different acts were happening stage right ranging from burlesque strip tease to a medical/murder performance complete with nipple tape and pulling out intestines.

Finally Ghoultown took the stage and made it well worth being half dead for work the next day.  I am no good at assigning genres to music, but the interwebs is calling them things like psychobilly and gothic punk, and who am I to argue with the internets?  With influences from the likes of The Cramps, Misfits, and Johnny Cash, these guys put on a great dark rock and roll show with plenty of guitar and a perfect dose of brass.  The song that sold me on them was “Killer In Texas”, which started with Dick Dale-esque guitar and ended with a blaring trumpet.

I got a hold of their most recent album, Life After Sundown, the next day and you can get your own copy via their website or on itunes

Zombie Dragstrip Hookers on myspace
Gen-XX on myspace
Ghoultown on myspace

Pix from the show, some nsfw

Ghoultown – Killer in Texas
Ghoultown – Ghost Riders In The Sky
Ghoultown – Gunslinger


The folks who run the Creative Loafing music site want me to get these out pretty quickly after the show and the truth is, I wanted to do a show recap yesterday but I couldn’t formulate coherent thoughts or actions.

When I slithered out of bed Wednesday morning I wasn’t sure if I was still drunk or still enjoying a post-show high from The Black Diamond Heavies. Either was entirely possible and the truth is I was probably suffering a little from both. Not to mention, my ears were still fuxxored from the night’s abuse. The Black Diamond Heavies rolled into St. Petersburg on Tuesday night and delivered a full-scale sonic ass whupping on everyone present.

Pounding their way through almost an hour of material from their two albums, Every Damn Time and A Touch Of Someone Else’s Class, the band delivered in every way I had hoped, nay…expected. I was giddy like a school girl for two days before this show and it lived up to every expectation I had for it. There really is no reason for you to miss these guys when they come to your neck of the woods. Go see them now and in a few years you’ll be able to say you saw them “back when”.

And trust me on this, bring some ear plugs.

You can lots see more pictures over on After The Hours.

Black Diamond Heavies – Smooth It Out
Black Diamond Heavies – Bidin’ My Time
Black Diamond Heavies – White Bitch


Okay. I asked if people were interested in me doing these and then never actually started. I have a decent excuse…I promise. See, my in-laws came in from Honduras and we weren’t watching the show…but! we were recording them and over the weekend I got caught up and I’m ready to start writing about this collection of skanks in earnest now.

When I woke up this morning I knew someone had mentioned the Brandi twins and their porn careers on the latest Charm School edition. You depraved fuckers had quadrupled the amount of traffic I would normally have by 7:30 in the morning….all Googling for their pron tapes. To that I gotta ask; Are you fucking serious? Do you really wanna see some dude’s spooge running down Brandi M.’s face before you’ve had your morning coffee? Do you really wanna see Brandi C.’s cobbled up axe wound before breakfast?

No, you don’t…I’ve seen ’em both…it was horrible. Now, if Jessica wants to pose topless..then we’re onto something.

The commandment on this week’s episode was “Thou Shalt Rock Thy Body”. You can imagine the disappointment when a house full of whores, strippers and porn queens learned that “rocking thy body” had nothing to do with bodily fluids.

The girls go out to the courtyard to see a collection of booths featuring top shelf whiskey, tequila, cigars, cheese and wine. The girls get to cycle around to each booth trying the wares while the attendants try desperately to explain how to enjoy the items. This really reminded me of my dog. See, I can be eating something so delicious, so decadent and I’ll (as I’m often wont to do) give some to the dog…only, she doesn’t even chew it. One swallow, it’s gone. That’s the way these girls are with the booze. Top shelf whiskey slammed like it’s Old Crow or something. I’d venture that some of the bottles of wine cost more than these hags’ rent, while their only basis for comparison is Boones Farm Strawberry wine. Dallas eventually bores with the wine and cheese offerings and starts to make a run at the local sausage selection (sorry babe, The Pick-Up Artist comes on in the next hour).

After the tasting the girls are found eating lunch poolside while the disgusting waste of semen, Lacie, talks about her militant animal rights beliefs. Nothing, she says, is better than anything else. She couldn’t kill and eat animals so she doesn’t think others should either, she says. All of this self-righteous preaching takes place while she’s eating salmon and caviar. HOORAY HYPOCRISY! Dallas calls her out on this little fact and Lacie tries to justify it all, I’m sure, by explaining that fish aren’t animals…they’re, I dunno, self-aware vegetables or something, but Dallas won’t listen and won’t let Lacie get a word in edgewise. This desperate need for Lacie to be on TV moves into Dallas’ bedroom where Lacie drags her skanky ass up into Dallas’ bed. This doesn’t get the reaction Lacie wanted, so she hops down and she gets up in Dallas’ face. Again, not getting the reaction she wants she throws a temper tantrum and ‘spills’ a drink on Dallas. With any luck, Lacie will get pummeled by Dallas at the reunion show.

The second part of this episode’s challenge was that the girls had to make a PSA about the dangers of drinking. The porn stars ended up together on a team and drew the theme of “drinking makes girls easy”. Really? You expect us to believe this was random? Pron starlets on the same team…making a PSA about drinking and slutting it up? Complete with male blowup dolls and a camera? Really? Random? Bullshit says I. Well, the results were pretty much as expected, complete with a BJ scene (hey! her nickname was Blowjob Brandi!). The best thing about this particular PSA was that I’d never seen a woman get spanked by a male blowup doll before….and now I’ll likely never be able to type that sentence again for the rest of this life.

The team of Destiney and Jessica drew the “booze fucks your body up” PSA. They went with the entirely tame horror movie-esque medical patient hooked to IV’s walking down a hallway (where’s a strobe light when you need it?) telling you the dangers of excessive drinking. Their PSA ended with the worst death scene since Paris Hilton in that shitty movie she did where she died.

Now, another one that I just can not believe was random. Joker-faced Lacie and Dallas end up on the same team. This went about as smoothly as a Rosie O’Donnell and Bill O’Reilly sex tape would. Dallas runs off to sulk about and act like a child while Lacey continues to play the role of cuntzilla to a tee. Their end result is as bad as you’d imagine. To quote Sharon, “You could have taken a piss and it would have been more interesting.” The sheer number of toilet hidden cams in women’s restrooms suggests that she is telling the truth.

The winning team was Kristy Joe and Heather. They pulled the “boozing will fuck up your unborn baby” PSA. Provided you ignore the “fuck up your unborn baby” portion of the PSA, theirs was fucking brilliant. Heather put on a pregnancy suit, lit up her trusty cigarette and played like Britney Spears while KJ was the TMZ cameraman. They did a magnificent job and Heather’s portrayal of Britney was spot on. Heather and Britney…what do you think the degree of separation is there? I bet it wouldn’t take a Kevin Bacon game to connect them.

Elimination comes and predictably enough Dallas loseWeight Exercises her pin while Joker-Face feigns remorse.

Here is some “topical” music. See y’all next week.

Britney Spears – Gimme More
Corey Branan & Ben Nichols – White Trash Girl
Everlast – White Trash Beautiful


I was turned onto K.C. McKanzie via the Chicago based blog Songs:Illinois. He called her “Berlin’s answer to Gillian Welch.” Now I can not tell a lie, the very mention of Gillian Welch in reference to another singer is one sure fire way to get me to listen, and Craig’s post was no different. He shared the song “Adam” in his post and it certainly lived up to the billing, so I ordered the cd that afternoon.

The cd arrived while my in-laws were in town so I tossed it into the car cd player and let it play while we drove around. Most of the album is minimal instrumentation under K.C.’s voice. When you stop to pay attention to the album the songs are really pretty, but the album never demands that you listen. Some of the songs are sure-fire skippers but when she hits, it’s a home run.

No, this album is not gonna give you the Gillian Welch fix we’ve all been aching for these past few years, but it’ll still give you a nice little buzz.

K.C. McKanzie – Adam
K.C. McKanzie – Hammer & Nails
K.C. McKanzie – Pretty Little Thing

K.C. McKanzie’s Official Site, K.C. McKanzie on myspace, Buy Hammer & Nails


When I wrote about The Sumner Brothers debut album, In The garage, I talked about how cool life is in the modern internet age. We’re quite lucky these days that anyone with the desire can seek out and discover these little gems a complete continent away. And make no mistake, The Sumner Brothers are just that, a gem. If you’ll shut up, sit down and listen, the music these guys make will make you feel. Sometimes it’ll bed good, sometimes it might be empty and desolate but it’s always something and isn’t that the hallmark of great music, the ability to elicit feelings?

I am pretty sure that The Sumner Brothers were the duo of Brian & Bob Sumner on their first album but now it looks like they’ve added a drummer (Mike Ardagh) and a bassist (Jimmy Kehler) to become a complete band. Full band or not that unpolished and raw like a dirty knife cutting to the bone sound that I fell in love with originally is still 100% in tact making this album essential listening.

The CD is finally available on CD Baby so check these tracks and buy the damned thing if you like it.

The Sumner Brothers – Both Back
The Sumner Brothers – Two Hands
The Sumner Brothers – Pain

The Sumner Brothers on myspace, Buy The Sumner Brothers


Jonestown was the informal name for the “Peoples Temple Agricultural Project”, an intentional community in northwestern Guyana formed by the Peoples Temple, a cult from California led by Jim Jones. It became internationally notorious in November of 1978, when 918 people died in the settlement as well as in a nearby airstrip and in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital. The name of the settlement became synonymous for the incidents at those locations. (more)

Concrete Blonde – Jonestown